It was a cold, clear, wintery Saturday evening and the Town Hall was lit up with it's warm lights against the black night sky. Aucklanders straggled in fashionably late to their seats, with a row of Parnell's straightest, blondest hair sitting in all their chattering glory in the seats in front of me.
But I'm not whinging in this post - that was last week. I'd been looking forward to tonight and experiencing the music collaboration known as Fly My Pretties: this Grand Tour supporting their album, The Return of Fly My Pretties. A few skinny blonde twits weren't able to take the smile off my face.
The sounds Fly My Pretties made tonight were so beautiful. Jeramiah Ross's wonderful fingers on the grand piano opening the show while old New Zealand film footage flickered across the huge screens that hung above the stage. Barnaby Weir coming out to treat us to his wonderful kiwi accent and Catch the Light with Lou Prebble's haunting bow and saw accompanyment. Tessa Rain's breathy harmonies floating with Age Prior's sweet tones, filling the space of the Great Hall with King of You All.
Jeramiah Ross introduced us to the second half of the show, playing Rain on the huge pipe organ that lives on the far wall of the Town Hall. It's five layered keyboard and many foot pedals had him admitting he was "nervous as all fuck" about playing it, but he was fantastic and it was a complete treat. Hollie Smith's voice soaring up and over the music of her fabulous song Clarity blowing anyone who still had socks on away. And on it went, song after wonderful song; muscian after wonderful musician.
These people know their stuff. Talented and crafted, their ease and enjoyment was so apparent and generous. They had us wiggling our shoulders, clicking our fingers, clapping our hands and up on our feet. I was fortunate to be one of the 1600 very lucky Aucklanders who got to experience Fly My Pretties tonight, and wasn't the only one who still had a wide smile on my face as it braced the night air at the end of a bargain of an evening. The Pretties played their music for my ears, and their rhythms for my feets, and their voices for my soul. It was fucking awesome.
"The Grand Tour closes a chapter not to be opened again." the program reads "This is a showcase of what Fly My Pretties has been and is now. Some people tonight will experience Fly My Pretties for the first time, this is their chance, but it is also the end of The Return. Fly away tonight."
[This photo used without permission. Check out the other wonderful photos of Fly My Pretties performing last December at jemsweb - lucky chook for getting so close with an eye for a good shot! ]